The history of sunscreen can be traced back to ancient civilizations, who used various natural substances to protect their skin from the sun's harmful rays. For example, the ancient Egyptians used a combination of rice, jasmine, and lupine to create a sunscreen-like paste, while the ancient Greeks and Romans used olive oil to protect their skin.
However, the modern formulation of sunscreen can be credited to a chemist named Franz Greiter, who invented the concept of the sun protection factor (SPF) in the 1930s. Greiter was a Swiss chemist and mountaineer who suffered from severe sunburn while climbing in the Swiss Alps. He realized that the available sun protection products at the time were not effective enough to prevent sunburn, so he set out to develop a new and more effective sunscreen. In 1946, Greiter developed a sunscreen called Gletscher Crème, which had an SPF of 2. He later developed a higher SPF formula, which he called Glacier Cream, and he continued to refine and improve his sunscreen products over the years. Greiter's invention of the SPF system revolutionized the sunscreen industry and paved the way for the development of the modern sunscreens that we use today.
Did aboriginal people use sunscreen?
While there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the Aboriginal peoples of Australia used sunscreen in the modern sense of the word, they did have various natural remedies and practices to protect their skin from the sun.
For example, some Aboriginal groups used traditional ochre pigments as a form of sun protection. These pigments were applied to the skin in intricate designs for ceremonial and cultural purposes, but they also served to reflect the sun's rays and provide a degree of sun protection.
Additionally, many Aboriginal communities lived in the harsh Australian outback, where the sun's rays are especially intense, and they developed a deep understanding of how to survive and thrive in this environment. They often wore protective clothing made from animal hides or woven plant fibers, which provided a barrier between their skin and the sun.
Overall, while the Aboriginal peoples of Australia did not use modern sunscreen products, they did have a wealth of knowledge and practices that allowed them to live in harmony with the environment and protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays.
Today, there are many different types of sunscreens available, including mineral and chemical formulas, and they are used to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays.